rambler, check out
the man is a legend in the kayaking world. his paddles are incredible pieces of woodwork. i don't know if i would guide a raft with one though. i would hate to break one of his paddles pushing a raft around.
i bought a perception paddle when i was guiding rafts. it was a great paddle. then they changed the shafts the next year. the new ones broke all the time. i don't know if their quality has gotten any better. mine lasted from 1993 until 2000 i think. it was awesome. it had a lot of flex in the shaft and the blade. never had any tendonitis issues, even guiding close to a hundred days a year.
it broke when some fat dude fell on it climbing into my boat. from then on i just grabbed a customer stick from the rack each morning. they are much cheaper. when you loose one, or break one, there are always several hundred more back at base, or floating in an eddy somewhere on the river. plus the blade is smaller, you won't end up hurting yourself, or giving yourself tendonitis from using a big bladed paddle. and talk about flex. those things are so flimsy. you can easily bend one by just doing a big draw stroke or a big pry.